KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 11 — The ringgit has again breached the psychological level of 4.0 versus the US dollar in a week, thanks to the positive sentiment driven by the encouraging manufacturing data released today, alongside the strong crude oil…
KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit’s current upward momentum against major currencies is backed by the country’s robust domestic economy and healthy trade performance, underpinned by the recovery in global oil prices. Second Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani said the ringgit was also supported by Malaysia’s strong export performance, which increased 20.2 per cent from Jan-Nov 2017, as compared to the same period […]
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 11 — Malaysian corporations and small-medium enterprises (SMEs) are likely to increase their hiring activity this year, RAM Holdings Bhd Group said today. Its chief executive Datuk Seri Dr K. Govindan noted that businesses…
PETALING JAYA: Despite the ringgit continuing with its upward trend after breaking the psychological barrier 4.0 level last Friday, economists cautioned that the local currency might take a breather in view of the US Fed tightening cycle and a boost for the dollar, from the US tax reform.
The ringgit has joined a basket of other regional currencies in an appreciating trend against the US dollar mainly due to the weakness in the dollar.
In its note today, Kenanga Research said that while the ringgit may test the 3.95 level in the first quarter of 2018, it may retrace back to around 4.10.
Fundamentally, Socio-Economic Research Centre (SERC) executive director Lee Heng Guie said, the ringgit should be worth 3.6 to 3.7 against the greenback.
“However, it does not mean that the ringgit will hit this level this year as it will be affected by other domestic and external factors,” he told SunBiz.
Over the short term, Lee believes the ringgit will stay at the current level with a projection of 3.90 by year-end.
The ringgit strengthened as much as 0.3% to 3.9865 today. As at 5pm, it traded at 3.9955 against the greenback. The local currency has risen 1.3% since the start of the year after a 10.4% gain last year.
Kenanga Research said the ringgit is expected to experience volatility in the face of widely expected US Fed tightening of at least three 25-basis-point rate hike for the year.
Furthermore, it said the current weaknesses in US dollar might dissipate as the new US tax reform proceeds and provides a boost to its economy and currency, therefore implying a softer ringgit against the dollar.
“As a result we might see the ringgit, at times, under some pressure to weaken though it is partly supported by strong fundamentals and positive sentiment.”
FXTM chief market strategist Hussein Sayed highlighted that the dollar index fell to a three-and-a-half-month low to trade below 92, leaving many traders wondering whether this year will be another devastating one for the greenback.
“When looking at the Commitment of Traders report, speculators are not showing interest in buying the US dollar yet, and the latest group of data did nothing to support the dollar.”
Given that the major US economic releases are four days away, he said many traders will focus on whether any technical breakouts will occur.
Besides weak US dollar, Lee noted that the ringgit strength is also supported by positive sentiment in the run-up to the 14th general election and rising oil prices.
“The US is entering into the weak cycle trend, the market needs more confirmation on what the US Fed wants to do as well as the impact from the tax reform.”
The US Fed has set three rate hikes this year, while the first Federal Open Market Committee meeting is scheduled for Jan 30 and 31.
Domestically, Lee said the catalysts for the ringgit include a continued trade surplus, albeit smaller at RM9.9 billion in November against RM10.4 billion in October, as well as the consolidation of fiscal budget and the government debt remains below 55% of the gross domestic product.
Despite the positive sentiment towards the general election, Lee also cautioned that there will be some degree of uncertainty when the Parliament is dissolved soon.
Meanwhile, AmBank Research expects the US dollar/ringgit to remain on a strong note with end-2018 projection of 3.95 and 3.76, being the base case and best case scenario.
“Our full-year average outlook for the US dollar/ringgit is 4.00–4.02 as our base case and best case at the 3.80–3.82 levels.”
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 3 — Bursa Malaysia opened higher this morning, reversing yesterday’s downtrend, on positive market sentiment with buying seen in bluechips, dealers said. At 9.05am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) stood at…
KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia ended the year's trading with a big bang as the Composite Index hit a year high of 1,796.81 points with extensive buying on heavyweights such as Sime Darby Plantation, Maybank and DiGi, supported by the upward momentum of regional peers, dealers said.
The benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) closed at 1,796.81, up 17.71 points from yesterday's close of 1,779.10, after opening 1.55 points higher at 1,780.65.
Over the course of the day, the key index also moved to as low as 1,776.94.
Market breadth was positive with 489 gainers against 468 losers, while 389 counters were unchanged, 494 untraded and 49 others suspended.
Total volume rose to 3.14 billion shares worth RM2.77 billion from 2.64 billion shares worth RM2.10 billion on Thursday.
Sime Darby Plantation, which contributed 6.30 points towards the composite index, rose 52 sen to RM6 while Maybank and DiGi, which contributed 4.61 and 3.60 points each, jumped 24 sen and 26 sen to RM9.80 and RM5.10, respectively.
Head of Research of Etiqa Insurance & Takaful, Liu Hing Luen, said the benchmark index was supported by local and foreign funds buying towards the close of trading, with the ringgit strengthening against the US dollar.
“There were a bit of foreign inflows, coupled with some local fund buying, as well as the recovery of the ringgit, which touched the 4.045 level (at 5pm), the highest for this year (so far),” he told Bernama today
Malaysian Association of Technical Analysts' Professional Member, Amir Hassan, said the FBM KLCI's performance today has been also been influenced by window-dressing, which was usual at year-end.
“Most of the last-minute buying was in blue-chips, plantation and banking counters,” he said, adding that the positive sentiment may continue until the first quarter next year, ahead of the 14th General Election, before investors deciding on any new direction.
Among other heavyweights, TNB declined 16 points to RM15.62, Public Bank slipped four sen to RM20.78 and Petronas Chemicals fell 10 sen to RM7.70. CIMB Group was flat at RM6.54.
Of the actives, Sino Hua-An earned half-a-sen to 39 sen, Diversified Gateway added one sen to 13 sen, Key Asic increased 1.5 sen to 24.5 sen and Hibiscus Petroleum advanced 2.5 sen to 89.5 sen.
The FBM Emas Index surged 151.16 points to 12,942.57, FBMT 100 Index jumped 153.90 points to 12,614.20 and the FBM Ace rose 21.53 points to 6,603.55.
The FBM Emas Shariah Index perked 147.07 points to 13,302.92 and the FBM 70 bagged 295.69 points to 16,085.54.
Sector-wise, the Finance Index chalked up 145.24 points to 16,861.38, Industrial Index improved 21.28 points to 3,280.70 and the Plantation Index advanced 34.26 points to 7,903.37.
Main Market volume rose to 1.89 billion units worth RM2.49 billion compared with 1.30 billion units worth RM1.81 billion on Thursday.
Volume on the ACE Market surged to 929.53 million shares valued at RM165.67 million from 1.05 billion shares valued at RM219.81 million yesterday.
Warrants volume increased to 307.68 million units worth RM103.17 million from 274.72 million units worth RM67.10 million on Thursday.
Consumer products accounted for 116.88 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products (657.28 million), construction (60.13 million), trade and services (582.64 million), technology (255.56 million), infrastructure (12.36 million), SPAC (2.50 million), finance (44.93 million), hotels (472,100), properties (96.78 million), plantations (33.34 million), mining (14,000), REITs (26.90 million) and closed/fund (75,000).
The physical price of gold as at 5pm stood at RM163.17 per gramme, down 31 sen from RM163.48 at 5pm yesterday. — Bernama
KUALA LUMPUR: Since mid-December, multiple developments in the global oil market have helped to lift crude prices to the level last seen in mid-2015. The strong…
KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit reversed earlier losses to close firmer against the US dollar today as rising in crude oil prices coupled with rally in metals sparked positive sentiment globally, dealers said.
At 6pm, the local unit stood at 4.0810/0850 against the greenback from 4.0830/0860 on Tuesday.
It fluctuated in a tight range of between 4.0800 and 4.850 throughout the day.
The crude oil prices increased sharply to over US$66 per barrel, its highest level since mid-2015 following an explosion on a pipeline carrying oil to Libya's largest oil port, cutting output by up to 100,000 barrels a day, a dealer said.
The dealer also said prospects for solid growth outlook on higher metal prices, with copper rallied to its highest level since 2014, further boosted the sentiment.
Meanwhile, the ringgit traded lower against a basket of major currencies.
It fell against the Singapore dollar to 3.0453/0490 from 3.0366/0402 and depreciated vis-a-vis the yen to 3.6054/6099 from 3.6031/6067 yesterday.
The local unit weakened against the euro to 4.8507/8571 from 4.8420/8472 and decreased versus the British pound to 5.4710/4776 from yesterday's 5.4561/4605.
Pound was on the rise spurred by its recent bullish third quarter results, as well as progress on Brexit negotiations. — Bernama
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 27 — The ringgit reversed earlier losses to close firmer against the US dollar today as rising in crude oil prices coupled with rally in metals sparked positive sentiment globally, dealers said. At 6pm, the local unit stood…